Married couples get on with each other better and for longer when both partners enjoy a drink, suggests a new study.
Sharing a good bottle of wine over dinner is already one of the events to treasure in life, but now there is evidence that it can help your relationship.
Couples who both drink have a higher chance of a happy marriage over the longer term, suggests findings published in the Journals of Gerontology.
Researchers focused on heterosexual couples in the US and measured responses by 2,767 married couples as part of a long-term health survey.
Marriages had already lasted for 33 years on average, with approximately two thirds in their first marriage.
If both partners drank alcohol, the couples tended to report a happier marriage over time.
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Women, in particular, were least happy in a marriage where they didn’t drink but their husband did.
If both partners were tee-total, this was also better than having one partner drinking and one not, the study found.
‘The present findings stress the importance of considering the drinking status rather than the amount of alcohol consumed of both members of the couple when attempting to understand drinking and marital quality among older couples,’ said researchers.
Kira Birditt PhD, on the life course development programme at the University of Michigan’s institute for social research, led the study.
She told Reuters that the team wasn’t sure why alcohol had an effect, but it might feed into the theory that couples who do more together tend to be happier.
Responsible drinking campaigns in the UK have targeted middle-aged wine lovers in recent years, amid concerns that some people are potentially consuming too much at home.
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